Jul 12, 2011

Losing it

The Maori Party have lost it. From the NZ Herald:

The Mana and Maori Parties are set to go head to head in a battle for Maori electorates in November's general election. 

The Maori Party last night rejected an offer for the parties to collaborate and Mana leader Hone Harawira is disappointed but moving on with plans to stand candidates. 

This means the Maori Party might lose Waiariki, Te Tai Tonga and Tamaki Makaurau. The party might not gain any new seats. Tariana Turia will be the only Maori Party MP left standing. The Maori Party had two choices: put aside any lingering animosity and work towards forming a powerful tino rangatiratanga bloc in Parliament or refuse to work in partnership with the Mana Party and, instead, work against them. The Maori Party chose the latter.

A strategic partnership made sense for both sides. The Maori Party would retain the ability to win the Maori electorates while the Mana Party would be free to build a monopoly on the Maori vote.

Hone will retain his seat. Tamaki Makaurau might fall to either Shane Jones or the Mana candidate. Hauraki-Waikato will be retained by Labour. Annette Sykes might win over Te Ururoa Flavell.

(Just out interest I notice Annette is participating in a debate in Rotoiti on behalf of the Mana Party – surely this confirmation that she intends to stand. Immediately after the byelection Annette also acted as the de-facto Mana Party leader. Please confirm whether or not you are standing Annette!).

Parekura will win Ikaroa-Rawhiti. Tariana will retain her seat, but with a decreased majority. While Rino Tirikatene will erode Rahui Katene’s 1000 vote majority and snatch Te Tai Tonga.

It appears that the Maori Party have allowed personal feelings to cloud their objective judgement. The Maori Party might just have signed their death sentence.


  1. The Maori Party appear to have a weird vindictive streak which prevents them from working with parties they feel have done them wrong, ie Labour and Mana. This means that they would rather work with National - a party which most of their supporters hate and/or distrust - than with parties they have a lot in common with.

  2. mana party parked up on the main rd on the east coast and started collecting subscriptions. it caused a bit of a interest, especially amongst rangatahi. maori are finding it tough up here with little mahi and hard to put kai on the table, mana party gives an outlet of hope and anger.

    but i don't get why paati maori didn't unite with mana, like they don't care about the bigger picture, like watching a sinking ship. sad, bro; maori had so much hope for paati maori, especially concerning the foreshore & seabed confiscation.

  3. I'm unclear as to the basis of the analysis that says Tamaki would fall to a Mana candidate. I agree it could fall to Jones. But to a Mana candidate? Mighty long bow being drawn here.

    Equally, the certainty that Flavell will fall to Sykes appears to be motivated more by hope and/or early campaigning than to any real analysis. It would take an almighty swing and nothing going to Labour for that to occur.

    No amount of spin can hide the fact that Harawira's support in TaiTokerau was decimated by Labour. How can a 6000 seat majority dropping to a 1000 odd majority be anything other than a deeply concerning result for Harawira (and it's nothing more than spin when excuses such as 'it's a byelection' are tiredly rolled out). It falls well short of an overwhelming endorsement for him. Keep in mind Maori Party put up a patsy candidate. A competent Maori Party candidate, with full Maori Party support, would likely have seen the seat fall easily to Davis.

    Just for clarity:
    Tokerau = 49% Mana - 1100 majority
    Tamaki = 66% Maori - 7500 majority
    Te Tai Hauauru = 70% Maori - 7800 majority
    Te Tai Tonga = 47% Maori - 1000 majority
    Waiariki = 68% Maori - 6800 majority

    I have no doubt Mana could seriously impact those numbers. But the swings to take them are so massive as to be virtually impossible unless Labour doesn't stand - and what's the chances? I'm more inclined to believe that Maori and Mana will be left with no more than 3 seats between them - and maybe a seat on party vote (but unlikely).

    How smart is it to rule out working with the right leaving only Labour as a Maori political partner. We are left with little bargaining chips in this scenario because we are effectively saying we won't go into coallition with the right if the left doesn't come to the party in negotiations. Not sure how that's tino rangatiratanga.

  4. Rawiri Taonui predicts that Auckland will fall Hone's way. His reasoning largely surrounds momentum. I, personally, think Tamaki Makaurau is Shane's to win. I have blogged on this before:


    Sykes will win Waiariki. I stand by that call. If you want to know why, see this post:


    Lastly, Hone will win Tai Tokerau by at least 15%. If he does not, come back and feel free to mock me.

  5. No mocking bro if you are proved to be wrong. Maori are too quick to do that to each other. Gut feel is often as good as poring over numbers. The mood is important. For me if you get it right then kei te pai. And equally so if it's wrong.

    You've provided good analysis re Waiariki. Will it translate to a Sykes victory? I remain to be convinced. But hey, there's still time to go to the election. A week's a long time in politics right?

  6. Sweet as. The numbers paint a hard slog, but the political equation has changed dramatically. The conditions are right for the Mana Party to pull through in Waiariki and maybe, and its a big maybe, in Tamaki Makaurau. The mood has changed and I tend to doubt that the Maori Party can change the narrative that they have overpromised and underdelivered/sold out/are a bunch of "kupapa" etc. It would be a shame to see the Maori Party weakened, but hardly surprising.

  7. Interesting Blog Morgan, it would be even more interesting to see who the Maori Party put up in Tai Tokerau this time. If for instance they get hmmm Buck Shelford to stand who is media savy and an iconic brand wow wouldn't that put the cat amongst the kereru.

  8. cat amongst the kereru? the colonially introduced pest amongst the native species?

    ur confused metaphor sounds more like pakeha lawyers and iwi rather than buck shelford and paati maori, lol.

  9. Anonymous-"How can a 6000 seat majority dropping to a 1000 odd majority be anything other than a deeply concerning result for Harawira"

    It's intellectually dishonest to compare a majority with a 20,000 turnout with a turnout with a 13,000 turnout. But if you break down the numbers, it's fairly self-explanatory.

    Hone as the Maori Party candidate won 63% of the vote in 2008. Hone and the new Maori Party candidate combined won 58%, so a real swing away of 5%.

    This swing can be pretty much attributed to National voters. In the 2008 election, 9.5% of Te Tai Tokerau voters gave their party vote to National. 49% of the National Party vote went to Hone Harawira, 26% went to Peter Tashkoff of ACT, and just 8% of that vote went to Kelvin Davis.

    Key endorsed Davis in the by-election, and that same National vote went to Kelvin instead. Factor that in with the Maori Party contesting, and that's pretty much the whole swing covered.

  10. Wasn't the last agreement broken? Hardly an incentive to come up with a new one if the trust isn't there.

  11. I am interested in why you think Labour will win Hauraki Waikato given Nanaia won by only 888 votes in 2008, Are you suggesting Mana let the Maori Party and Labour fight it out while Mana focuses on the party vote in this electorate? Willie Jackson might agree with you.

  12. @ Anonymous re: "Wasn't the last agreement broken"? Yes. On the Maori Party's side. They said they wouldn't contest Tai Tokerau and they did. They then tried to use weasel words to say it was a by-election. This, however, is a new issue, a new era and they need to think smarter. They've decided they'd rather keep their National masters happy than form a block to secure Maori seats from Labour benefiting from a three way race. For mine, the Maori Party are vindictive. They've gone against the hopes of the vast majority of the Maori population for an agreement. The Maori Party are in la-la-land. Morgan is right: they will lose seats by Mana standing. Mana might not win them, but what looked like a close race for Pita against Jones, now might become a hiding if Mana draws enough support away from the Maori Party. I think Waiariki is winnable for Sykes too. If not, it will be close. I don't know what support the Maori Party are banking on to eventuate, because I can't see it. There are enough numbers going with Mana (where Mana is ahead in the polls over the Maori Party) to send the Maori Party to oblivion or holding on to only one seat. The last thing I wanted was Labour to benefit from all of this, but they will - you know - the party that started all this in the first place.

  13. Tautoko Angeline (Greensill?) I think Mana could very well target Hauraki-Waikato. Sure, I see the obvious argument given Mahuta's link to the kingitanga, but remember, even with that and the fact she was a minister last time, she still ended up with a very narrow margin. Since then she's been a lot less active in parliament, and I think it could be very vulnerable. Hauraki-Waikato is more than Tainui; Papakura is a very significant part of the electorate, and I think Mana could use that as a base to win.

  14. @Anna Harawira broke the agreement first by attacking the Maori Party.

  15. I was at the Mana Party's Waiariki branch meeting on Saturday, and I've never seen a group of 150 people so fired up! Huge energy and determination to win this electorate for Mana. Waiariki's sleeping giant has come wide awake and is really going places. Be cautious about predicting what people with so much determination might be capable of!



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